Tired from Being an Empath

The last couple of days I've been exhausted. It could be from many things.   

1. I did a lot of yard work in the heat this week = heat overload + body tiredness. 
2. Allergies. I have environmental allergies and working outdoors while everything is blooming is sure to affect me.
3. Pandemic Sheltering-at-Home Overwhelm. 

It's the third one I want to talk about here. I'm a woman of faith and try to enact my faith. Prayer is a default. But I have another default - I'm an empath. I didn't need to take any tests to know it, I just know myself enough to say I am one.

One article describes an empath this way (which I've personalized):

I feel deeply. I tune in to the feelings of people around me--even people I don't know. That means, my husband and son who are home right now but also friends on Facebook and strangers I read about. 

I am a sensitive person. I absorb the world’s joys and stresses like an “emotional sponge.”  So many times I feel off. My son said, "Don't project your anxiety on others." That's comforting in a strange way. He meant he is not feeling anxious, so me assuming he might be isn't helpful. I need to quit making assumptions and not default to worry.
Empaths bring a lot of heart and care to the world and feel things deeply.
The term empath comes from empathy, which is the ability to understand the experiences and feelings of others outside of your own perspective.
During these shelter-at-home days, my own life changed only slightly. But my empath nature is quick to feel for people out of work or who have lost their business and income. 
As an empath, I feel problems so deeply, I want to do something about them. But this can result in disappointment and compassion fatigue. 
Due to wanting to keep busy, I read Twitter, watch CNN and read COVID-19 updates. I even participate on some Facebook groups and have found people are getting very nasty. Their nastiness bothers me. Empaths don't like conflict.
I decided today some of my fatigue is information overload combined with being too empathetic to the negatives of the world. I'm in overwhelm. 
Another Point - Too Close
The article points out empaths find frequent close contact difficult, which can make romantic relationships challenging. We want to connect and develop lasting partnerships. But we don't want to lose ourselves in the relationship from spending too much time together. 
This has been a recent problem as my husband is working from home. Never before have we spent this much time together. It's a recipe for cabin fever and infighting. It was great years ago when he had to travel every few weeks. 
God has given us unique gifts and it is important to consult him on what bothers us. He will help us set boundaries. 
Are you struggling to keep your emotions and mental health in balance during this Stay-at-Home time? 
I am moderating a Facebook Group called Shelter-at-Home Accountability group which you may find helpful. It is mixed-faith so we don't focus on Christian principles per se, but having others to share our struggles with can be helpful. 

Reassurance During Your Sheltering-at-Home

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your path.  Proverbs 3:5-6    

Hi friends, how are you doing during this pandemic? 

Nothing in our world is normal. For that reason, our brains are being challenged on many levels. We have to 'think' before attempting to go anywhere. We have to get our mask, and maybe gloves, other plastic, or sanitizer if we're touching strange surfaces like grocery store freezer doors. We have to Google search the store we plan to go to to check their hours and procedures. When we get there we might find they have rules that we didn't expect. Then we're thrown off guard. 

Frustration is a word I'm coming across in the community. 

I'm also hearing about lack of motivation. Many have all the time in the world and are just not motivated as they used to be to complete projects. 

Others are feeling sad or depressed as they try to process the sudden halt to their regimen or the business they were building. Some it's not being able to visit grandchildren that bothers them. Yesterday, I cried after being frustrated grocery shopping.

Many others are feeling bored. Their meaning or purpose in life has diminished. 


If you see yourself in any of the above examples, I mostly want to assure you, you aren't strange, faulty, or weak. You are a normal human going through new challenges beyond your own control. 

I challenge you to ask God to reveal new purpose in the midst of your sheltering. I feel God wants us to bloom where we are planted. Every place you put your foot as a believer is Holy ground, so to speak. You can still apply yourself with excellence on the few things that are within your control. You may be the listening ear someone needs.Ask God how he might want you to reach out to others even if it's not in person.

You can use this time to study Christian living themes, to pray more often, or to take online courses. 


Yesterday, a friend did a small porch drop at my home. I'm in a book group with her. I can tell she probably enjoyed preparing the gift. She and her husband also enjoy going for drives, so that in itself added a layer to her life. It also added a layer of human contact to my life. It was nice. 

I dropped off scrubs and face masks as well as cards to two PSWs in my neighborhood in April. It felt good to do a good deed. I know it's not easy to find those good deeds when you can't be in contact with people, but maybe you can send a card or write an email. 

When thoughts arise of what you're missing out on, change the thought to ask God what it is right where you are he wants you to do. As long as you have breath, you have purpose!

Feeling a Little Out of Control While Sheltering at Home

My husband and I have been "sheltering at home" here in Ontario, Canada, nine weeks now. While I thought all would continue as normal, as I put in this post, we are now becoming weary and unmotivated. 

I was glad to have this block of Corona Virus Pandemic time to write a book. I finished the draft yesterday and want to let it sit while I focus on other things. 

Schedule Mixup

While writing it, with nowhere to be in the morning, I stayed up sometimes until 5 o'clock a.m. to work on it, which then put the rest of my day in a weird time space. Even nights I went to bed earlier, I would sleep in until 11, or 1, or even 3 p.m. I'd get up have my coffee and then plan what to make for dinner. 

By now, days and nights are running over each other for most of us. We often don't even know what day it is. We sometimes don't even shower, dress, or wash our hair. We are becoming sluggish. 

My husband has been a trooper though. He has umpteen conference calls and makes sure he is at work by 8:30.


The walks my husband and I started with have been put aside. The weather got cold again. 

I have had zero motivation to do the workouts my gym sends. I don't know if I should stop my membership now or not. It's keeping people employed. 

We are seeing just how much working outside the home, going to our gym, meeting friends for coffee, going to church, and so on, gives our life structure. We are craving that structure back. 


Husband and I have masks now to wear if one of us goes shopping. These expeditions are like hunting trips. 

Not every retailer or fast food place has the same rules which is frustrating. I drove up to one and the drive-thru was blocked and the sign on their door said you could only order by a mobile app. (That will lose an entire market of people who don't to shop by phone.)

Another sporting goods store I thought I could go into to try on work boots or runners only had a curbside pickup option.  (I threw out my lawnmowing/gardening boots last fall during a declutter session) So there goes the try the boots on first idea. I returned home annoyed. 

Other places have long lineups I will gladly pass on. One made me take my shopping bags back to my car after I had put on my PPE and sanitized my hands!  They didn't want home bags even brought into the store! Could have let me know when they first saw me come in. That made me angry.

Trails near my home are closed--not allowed to go for walks on them. It feels like I have to do the same route up and down my road or around my yard. 

Today it's May and we had snow. Not very inviting. 

My husband and I are so frustrated with this routine we've made a new habit of buying a cake every time we shop. We try to make the cake last all week. It is our happy food in a trying time. (But not good for our diet, but I can't go for my next blood sugar test anytime soon anyhow.)

We also buy a big ready-made salad. It lasts 4-5 days and is so handy for those stress eating moments. 

As much as I know God is in control, some of us do feel a little out of control. Do you?

When I've brought up my feelings this weekend, my husband has urged me to not think about it so much. A therapist has also offered tips online that point out the more we resist our situation, the worse we will feel. Acceptance is important. And so is finding meaning while sheltering at home.  Hang in there. 

Writing for Therapy

I've been writing. Call it a memoir, a story, or creative nonfiction. It's kept me glued to my computer chair probably longer than I should be. 

I don't know if I'll publish the story or not, it's just something God called me to when I prayed, "What shall I work on during this sheltering at home phase?" 

God put in my mind to write about a challenging life phase. 

Two years ago, it became apparent there were some unhealed wounds that resulted in C-PTSD symptoms.

I worked through them with a therapist, but more recently, something a friend said bugged me. I realized my trauma, pain, challenges--whatever you want to call them, of yesteryear, would never be fathomed by so many who haven't had similar challenges. So as a response to my frustration, I set out to write my story in detail as though to educate my friend. 

Before the pandemic, I'd been focused on the concept of not putting new wine into old wineskins. I took it as a message to get myself ready for something new. 

I'd also joined a "Momentum Challenge" for 30 days where our coach would post prompts weekly. It was clear her prompts were also leading me to this project. 

Try it for Yourself 

I'd like to challenge you to try something similar because there can be many therapeutic benefits to it, and it gives you something interesting to do. 

I have been amazed at the transformation happening within me. I'm getting rid of gunky buildup in my brain.


1. There are two parts to the transformation I've expereinced, one has been learning and growing. 

I'm sure I've asked God what he wants me to study or learn and he has plunked me into a season of learning more about writing--more like a fiction writer.

I've been interacting with an online writing group when I've had questions. 

I've used multiple new resources.

2. The second part of the transformation has included this awareness:

  • I've revisited the girl/woman I was.
  • Now as an older woman, I see clearer. 
  • God has revealed things. I've made connections to events. My eyes have been opened.(of course, some of that started with my therapist's input too.)
  • I've identified weaknesses in myself--places I lacked confidence and may still lack it, but I've felt my confidence growing. 
  • I've identified faulty thinking I had but I know why I had it.
  • I have seen where in my story God protected me.
  • I've seen where the enemy challenged me.
  • I've identified reasons some things transpired the ways they did.
  • I'm more thankful for my husband and the life I have now.
  • I'm going to be careful to not let anything trigger me going forward.

With my therapist, I talked about key moments, but now during writing, the detail is more liberating. 


Going back in time with a therapist is safe. Going back in time on our own is usually not valuable. It's good to leave the past in the past. Since God led me to do this writing, I figured he wanted me to tidy up unfinished business. I knew it could be volatile, so I prayed for protection. 

First I wrote the segments of my life I wanted to write about. I used real dates and names. I realized I wanted to just get the project out of the way. Have it over with. 

The second week, I changed the names and geographic locations. That helped immensely in aiding me to distance myself from the story. Now it was almost like someone else's story. 

Next, I did the usual editing things like removed a list of words that are cumbersome. That can be a fun project but can also be tedious. Here is an article that helps with that part. 


Next, I looked up fiction and memoir books on Amazon. I chose those with relatable themes to my story and I used the "look inside feature" to get a glimpse at how others have told their story. 

I borrowed some descriptions from there (not word for word - ever - just stylistically).

Next I used this tool "Descriptionar: Creative Writing Ideas"   There, writers have generously given writing examples for numerous themes. They've done such a great job too! I have never written like these writers do. 

You simply pop a word into their search feature and samples come up. These samples are purposely given to help writers become better. I wouldn't advise copying what they've written directly into your story, but to use the input to improve your writing.

More Transformation 

The transformation this tool has given me is beyond words! 

This tool is able to put into words what I cannot sufficiently describe on my own. 

The descriptions tap into the nitty-gritty depths of a person's mind, heart, or soul. 

The samples helped me find validation for how things were then. 

For example, instead of saying "I was afraid," writer Sophie writes:

"Adrenaline floods my system, It pumps and beats like it’s trying to escape. I think my heart will explode and my eyes are wide with fear." 

Her phrasing is so appropriate. I have more empathy for the girl in Sophie's quote.  

While writing, I have so many moments of insight, I want to stop and journal about it. But I don't. I reflect and mostly thank God for his goodness for having his hand on me and restoring me. 

As I re-edit I will try to take note of what else this exercise is doing for me. It's been remarkable. 

Should Your Lock Down Become a Fast?

I have resented the many social media posts that imply we are all a mess during our personal lock-downs due to the stay in place directive related to the corona virus (COVID-19).

I did not feel a mess or anxious until perhaps this evening. This weekend marks my 2nd full week of self-isolation. I have been to grocery stores twice in the two weeks for a short time, been out for walks, but more or less have been home reading, writing, and watching TV.

Why We Feel Off

A friend on social media wrote why she feels a little off.  Her explanation helped me make sense of my feelings.

Missing for her are day and week markers. Her markers were simple things that were regularly in her schedule. Gone is her in-person Bible study, her card game, and her crafting group meetup.

My markers have been meeting my gym mates for mid-morning workouts, my husband's return from work at dinnertime, going to church, that kind of thing.

Some of us currently feel off-kilter since the little bit of structure we had is gone.

Day tends to flow into day.

Managing the New Routine

It's also spring and here in Ontario, Canada. Has only been a little sunny and isn't quite warm enough to do a lot of yard work. It is supposed to rain this week.

As an introvert who is used to working from home, I admit I don't have this prison sentence licked.

We all need outside interaction. We need something beyond our spouse and our own homes. Our structure is missing. Our connections are missing.

No Use in Complaining

I used to complain about my situation. I'd tell my husband I was dying inside--especially when I had no meaningful writing projects, when articles and books weren't selling, or when I had writer's block. I often said I wanted a real job.

When no new job transpired, my husband usually told me to just appreciate my life. Now that he is also working from home, I hope he feels catches a glimpse of the rut-like feeling I've often experienced. I hope he learns empathy.

I've told God I'd be his scribe--his conduit to the world through my writing if he'd let me. For a time, I felt him leading me to write great articles and Kindle books. But lately, the anointing seems to be gone. My last book for at-home moms isn't selling at all.

The organization I sell articles through has new editors. I've never had so many rejections in ten years as I've had in the last six months. It's discouraging!

So right now, in the midst of this COVID-19 lockdown, though I crave change, now is not a time for change. The whole world is locked down!


I realized today, this lockdown can be viewed as a fast we're all on. We are fasting life as we've known it. Do you see that? What are you fasting from just now?

We can probably use some of this time to tune into God to find out what he is up to in our lives--the usual purpose for a fast. If only we can pull ourselves away from the news, social media updates, or TV shows.

New Starts 

With the turn of the calendar, many of us looked forward to what new thing God might do in our life in 2020. Did you?

Some of have been anticipating new opened doors.

If we view this as a forced fast, can we press into God to hear from him better?

God is With Us 

God has not left us. He is still at work. It's not for us to worry about the future or to try to figure out this COVID-19 thing. He works all things out in our lives for good. That hasn't changed. We need to stay in faith.

Why not ask God to grow your faith?
Why not ask him to speak to you about what he has in mind for you?
Make a list of what he reveals to you during your lock down. 

My Routine During Self-Isolation isn't Much Different Than Before

It's March 23, 2020. I write from my home office in Ontario, Canada. Most of the world is in the midst of self-isolation measures due to the #CoronaVirus. I haven't felt compelled to write about it, but it is the wee hours of the morning and I am not sleepy. I'm reflective. So I thought I'd type out a few words.

We are Not All Anxious!

First, I'm annoyed so many assume we are all anxious and in a tissy over having to self-isolate. It's just not true for everyone. And Christians are urged by Jesus to not become anxious, but to lay our concerns at his feet. 

Some of us who lived the stay-at-home mom life (or who are still there), and those of us who have cultivated a work-from-home life, are used to spending much of our time at home. 

Followers of God listen to their government and health leaders' recommendations taking them seriously AND, at the same time, put their trust in God and listen for his advice. That means consulting God a day at a time about life.


I read today there is something called "normalcy or normality bias" which means some underestimate the potential of a disaster happening. 

When I first learned this term in connection with the coronavirus, I took it as being problematic for those who insist, demand, or want to believe they have a right to a normal life but are somehow being deprived of it due to government regulations, and so on. 

To be clear, there IS a real and present danger. It seems hyped up, but part of that is because we are confined to our homes and are relying so much on TV, the Internet, and Social Media. We are bombarded with input that can be unsettling.

So when you're stuck at home now, what do you do?

When I quit a poorly paid short-term job I'd taken a few years ago, I really wanted to find a new job before quitting because I'd had it with being an at-home mom and enjoyed the self-esteem I was feeling being a working woman again. 

But things came to a head because while having a job boosted my self-esteem, it wasn't the right job for me. The stress headaches weren't worth staying at the job. So I left, jobless. I was forced to begin the at-home life once again.

It was a tough time for me, but more or less, I needed to trust God and accept where I was and then figure out how to add balance back into my life (which was no easy feat). If you are currently feeling bored out of your mind, I get it. If you crave a meaningful job right now, I get it. 

Can you accept that, for a time right now, you need to self-isolate and not complain about it? 

New Endeavours

Over time, I fell into some new endeavours. I enjoyed casual paid work as a life coach who worked with women by telephone. I worked as a tutor. I held Conversational ESL classes. I did home staging for a realtor. Later, I became a paid web content writer and editor, and to fill the gap a transcriptionist.  

I admit, with these work projects, I had/have something to look forward to, to spend my time on, and I know some of my readers don't have that. If you don't have a gig like I do, do you at least know what your top five passions are--the things God has wired you to do? Your gifts and passions can be used to bless the world in creative ways. Ask God to reveal them and show you how to use them creatively.  

A Possible Routine

Time was more full when my children were home and my dog was alive. Their schedules demanded my attention, and we enjoyed each other's company. Now, my schedule has changed yet again. Below, I'm going to run down how I spend most days as something here may help you.

Often I'd start my days in PJs. It works for me and is one of the perks of working from home. (When I'd drive my son to school, I'd pull on yoga pants and a hoodie over my nightgown.) 

I take my thyroid pill, and used to join my dog in the backyard where we'd walk around in circles a good fifteen minutes or so. Fresh air in the morning is a great way to start the day. Now that she has passed, I do the same with one of my cats. While I walk, I say a few prayers inviting God to take authority over my day, my time, and my choices.  

Next, I feed the birds and squirrels who visit a feeder outside my office window. 

Then, I pour a coffee and check emails, many of which contain helpful devotionals. Next, I check my social media accounts. When you work from home, staying in contact with others this way is important. 

Once my first coffee and protein bar are complete, I start paid work (writing). Before the self-isolation mandate, at this time I would get ready for a 10 am gym class at a nearby facility. 

Right now my gym is closed and supplying online workout videos to stream at home. 

Around 11:30 am, if I haven't already showered and dressed, I do so. When going out to the gym, I would run errands after and shower once back home. Now, errand running is somewhat restricted due to the self-isolation rules. I keep a list and my husband or I run several errands at once. 


Before lunch, I return to my computer to check emails or proofread a draft article. Lunches are healthy as much as possible. I've just come through a good online nutrition program so am keyed up to follow many of the guidelines I've learned. (During your self-isolation, you might want to try such a program.)

Next, I either plunge into more paid writing or do housework. When the dog was alive, I'd take her for an hour-long walk. (I am trying to gear myself up to go for walks on my own.) 

I often do a combination of activities. I try to do one significant chore a day--be it changing over a bedroom, mopping a floor, doing laundry, and so on.  

By 4:30 or so, I start prepping dinner. by then I might allow myself to turn on the TV to watch Dr. Phil or some other interesting show, or finish some writing. In summer, I garden, tend the pool, swim, and so on. 


Over time as an at-home mom and then as a work-from-home woman, I stayed stimulated/social by attending church, ladies groups, or having coffee out with a friend. More recently, I count on my exercise group for socialization.

Of course, much socialization has ceased during this outbreak for us all. My gym group has a group chat on Messenger and a Facebook page where we are able to interact with each other. Everyone could be doing this with their church or groups, but many are not set up to do so.  

I always keep an eye out for what else might fill a gap in my life. Over time, I've hired a life coach to have consultations with by long-distance phone, visited a counselor in person, joined mastermind and social groups, and so on. 

I need social interaction as anyone does, but being an introvert I probably handle being on my own better than an extrovert might. 

So far, in this lockdown style of life, I'm not yet going stir crazy. 


I don't know how single women are handling this isolation. I have a husband who is doing a mixture of working from home and working at his office in short stints, so I have someone coming and going. We share a meal in the evenings and then watch television together. I also create art. 

Yes, my routine gets boring at times, but so far, it works for us. Mindset and trusting God is crucial to staying above water. 

Time will tell what happens next. For now, I'm sticking to this schedule, but throwing in time to watch news conferences about the virus and praying for an antidote. 

I haven't been out walking much due to the cold temperatures, but that is next on my list. I also need to get doing those exercises my gym has sent me.

How will you spend your days? Do you have a bit of a schedule worked out during your lock-down self-isolation phase? 

The Empty Nest - a Remodelling Stage

I just read my daily email from Dr. Henry Cloud and played his introductory video on the letting go phase of parenting or vice versa, letting go of your connection to your own family of origin.

In the video, he had just dropped his daughter off at college/university. He described how painfully sad he was but that inwardly he knew it was a good thing. He had prepared her to enter the larger world. 

I then reflected on my own scenario as I went through this in 2010 and again in 2013. It seems like a long time ago, but I'm still processing the empty nest transition now in 2020. 

Nest Emptying can be Messy 

Rather than a beautiful photo of a bird leaving the nest and flying off into the sunrise, the picture that comes to mind is that of a messy nest with parent birds a little wound up.

In my picture, the baby comes back and forth to the nest at times perplexing the parents further. Dr. Cloud will likely experience this as children often come home for the summer between their schooling years. My son returned home before his last year and commuted. Once he began working, he lived at home until this past fall when he left to take a graduate student certificate course out of town.

While at 18 they do fly off as a signal of adulthood, the entire nest-emptying process takes much longer for most due to this back and forth process. And, as a parent, there are messy emotions to deal with. 

Wishful Thinking

There are parents like my husband and me who process things over time. My husband would keep his babies close forever if he could. He tends to want to do things for them that they need to do for themselves. 

My husband even has a fantasy that sometime in life they will want or need to come back and live with us even after marriage. When he makes such claims, I remind him they won't want that and that it's not good for them. I cite that if I had moved back with my parents after problems arose when I was in my 20s it would have been an easy out for me, but I would have hated it. It would have been awkward. It would not have put me into a position to wrestle with problems and figure things out for myself as I did. I realize, we do what we can to prepare our kids for the world, but the real growth is when they have to face it head on themselves.  

No Set Schedule

Each family's nest empties its own way. I have a friend whose daughter announced she'd bet getting married right after university. This mother hadn't shifted her mindset yet to realize her little girl was now an independent woman. It threw her for a loop. She didn't want to have to go through the steps that leads to a wedding yet since her little girl, in her mind, hadn't yet left the nest. As it turned out, the marrying couple wanted to plan things themselves. The mother felt jilted. 

My mothering mind pictured my kids returning home after university and the actual nest emptying happening after that (they'd be about 22 by then). But my daughter never returned home to live. I had to get used to the idea abruptly. 

My son came back to live, but now is gone again. 

The nest-emptying process is hard for parents. Sometimes I have to remind my husband to let go a little more and not do so much for them. And sometimes he has to tell me to let it go and quit crying.
There are less shoes now.

The Grief Process

Dr. Cloud described his moment of grief, but will likely find this type of grief is a process. Just last night while watching TV I glanced up at a photo of our daughter and began to weep. I just saw her Monday night as we are taking an exercise class together. She is doing well. I can be proud I raised her well. What I think I was actually grieving was the end of my parenting phase. I will never have it back the way it was. And so I must deal with grief as it arises and let go a day at a time.

I won't lose my children, but our relationship will change. While my son is away is likely a time when I should face the reality he may not return home to live. 

While I like to help him, it's likely better he spreads his wings even further and doesn't return. Why? Because if he comes home, we will be tempted to baby him again. Chances are there are huge changes going on in his mental development now that we have to allow for. 

Letting Go is Healthy 

While letting go can feel so dramatically sad and hopeless, I realize by letting go, by refusing to worry, my own mental health improves. I'm finally free of the intense mothering responsibilities I've had for 27 years. We all know mothering requires a lot of us physically as we make breakfasts, lunches, dinners, drive our teens around, run errands, clean the house, etc. but most moms also take on tremendous emotional burdens. We worry about our kids' wellbeing. We stand in the gap for them. We advocate for them. We feel compelled to organize them and their schedule.  Now, in the empty nest, we can (unless we have a special needs child) let go for our own sake. We should celebrate that. 


It's important we feel the emotions and process them. I have downloaded the photos from all my devices onto one Photostick. Now when I need a photo, I scroll through the memory stick to find it since I've not yet categorized them. Wow, that process is full of emotions. Photos of my family, events, houses we've lived in flash before my eyes. The first time this happened I was undone! 

There were photos of my children at so many ages. I felt agitated. But then decided to honor the feelings realizing we'd lived life! I'd done my best. 

I likely won't go through old photo albums as surely I'd weep. But in small doses, I can do this. 

From the outside some might think we send our children off to school and we're DONE. For those of us who put mothering as a priority, we're never fully DONE. It is a phase full of grief moments. 

Internal Remodelling

Perhaps two of the painful questions us empty-nest moms have are Who am I now? and What do I do the next 30 years?

I have written a book you'll see on the sidebar that addresses the question of what we will do next. But I know there is more. God is a God of new starts. His word tells us new wine doesn't do well in old wineskins. There is some internal transition we need to do too. 

I'm staying aware that a new phase is upon me. I'm paying attention to what needs to go, what I need to work on, what I need to learn about, what habits I need to change, and what new steps I need to take. Are you at this phase too? What has God shown you? Are you willing to be IN PROCESS? Can you ignore the need to know all the answers of what lies ahead?

Let me know the tools you're using for processing your empty nest.